Melding talent, flair and enthusiasm for audio and digital arts with influences from classical to clubbing scenes, British composer Benji Merrison is a highly regarded award-winning modern composer. His outstanding catalogue has been recognised with plaudits from the News and Documentary Emmys, IFMCA, SXSW and Royal Television Society, and his distinctive musical voice is in high demand—demonstrated by collaborations with all major UK broadcasters, plus key networks and brands worldwide.
Residing in London, Benji continues to work on globally renowned projects across film, television, and live events. Selected credits including BBC’s Dynasties (Emmy nominated score), General Magic (prem. Tribeca) , Britannia (Sky Atlantic/Netflix), Victoria (ITV), Class (Doctor Who spin-off), plus the 2021 action-movie SAS: Red Notice and feature documentary The Beatles and India . Events and exhibition credits include the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Top Gear, Tate Modern, MTV EMAs and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
Benji is classically trained in composition and performance, and adept as a music producer and engineer—a combination of skills that covers composing, arranging, performing and mixing scores into broadcast-ready treasures. He’s experienced in working with world class musicians, orchestras, studios and more in crafting his scores. A number of his soundtracks have been commercially released by Silva Screen Records and Lakeshore Records.
Benji holds a Masters in Music Technology but while performing classical piano pieces as a student, he was drawn to making other sounds inspired by the emerging electronic music and digital multi-media movements of the time, starting up digital arts festival SightSonic. Moving to London, Benji brought his talents through ad agencies and TV companies, before setting up his own studio and joining Strongroom Studios (part of Air).
This route through the arts informed Benji’s outlook on composition and technology, with an appreciation for traditional recording techniques, while also experimenting to make his own sounds and instruments, providing a refreshing take on being a composer as a typically serious discipline—the process has got to be enjoyable.
“I’ve always been a bit obsessed with sound,” he confesses. “Traditional training gave me confidence and I’d create my own. Nowadays, I write with emotion rather than technique. When viewers stop seeing the edges of the screen and my music is in the action, it’s working.”
“I want to continue to work with cool people, with the vision and facility to push through interesting, authentic projects,” says Benji. “When you trust in creative vision, people and energy, the result is a bonus.”
Throughout 2021, the remaining BBC Dynasties II episodes will unfold and, from the same Sir David Attenborough-narrated stable, Green Planet is due to air early in 2022 featuring sonic adornment from Benji and Dynasties co-composer Will Slater. Aside from these popular, high-profile natural history projects, there is more from Merrison in drama human interest stories, too. Benji will also continue his work as part of the Composer Wellbeing Collective, of which he is Co-Founder.